Arsenal Gap Year Part 1 - GDM Club. Manica, Mozambique travel blog

Had training at 8 and did some ball work under the tuition of Simao the assistant manager. He used to be manager but is now assistant manager since Miguel was appointed.

Rather long session today we worked for 3 hours and were greeted at the club with Sudza and Kove.

After lunch I had a gym workout and then we set off to see Chico's coaching session. We were running late with Pingi and so it turns out was Chico. He bumped into us on the way to his area's training ground. The make shift pitch was bobbily as ever and placed next to train tracks. The kids went crazy when we got the footballs out and no matter where we are their reaction always makes me smile, it's something I'll never forget and will remember for the rest of my life. Drew helped the younger kids learn English and I played around with the little ones who were too young to train with Chico's lot. The youngsters out here are so clever they realize the importance of every object we consider waste. For example the children will collect wood after training because they know that they need it for a fire to keep warm at night and ,most importantly, to make a fire to cook on. No wood means no food.

Drew's English lesson consisted of him writing his name in the dirt and encouraging the children to copy. One girl grasped the concept straight away and she wrote her own name in the dirt. There was particularly cute kid, in a Barcelona shirt, who kept running to us and shyly saying something in Portuguese. We got Pingi to translate and when he asked the child to repeat what he said Pingi smiled and laughed sympathetically. He told us that the he was saying 'the other children won't share the balls.' Bless him.

Chico's session was poor and they started trying to do a drill but no one understood it and it was badly demonstrated so a match was hastily organized.

Back at the club we talked to Mr Mann and found out him and Chandulia (Big John) teach English lessons at the club between 8-9 in the morning and 4-5 in the afternoon. Therefore we're going to help assist when we get free time.

We have a match on my birthday against Vilankoulu in Chimoi so it's our home game at Text Africa's ground. I'm looking forward to the big one in 2 days time my 23rd birthday and time to dine a Vumba Lodge after the match.

We're also aiming to make E-mail and Facebook accounts for the players and will be starting the process soon, stay tuned.

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